Chemainus is a small, but quite a beautiful town located in the Cowichan Valley. It is an artist mecca, you can see this by the huge murals that are painted everywhere in the town. The town has been nicknamed “Mural town” and is known worldwide for these paintings that bring to life the history of the first peoples, as well as the early days of logging, mining, and fishing.
In the 1980s, the town was struggling to stay alive after the sawmill was closed, then the murals began to be created, the first one was created in 1983. People began to notice and started to check them out, now hundreds of thousands arrive each year to see these wonders, you can tour them on foot, or by a trolley car and can even take a horse-drawn carriage ride to see them. The town is now vibrant with a healthy tourist-based economy.
There are awesome little shops and boutiques that cater to these tourists, these shops sell local original art by some of the islands best artists, there are antique stores, candy stores, clothing stores that sell locally created designs, and some of the best dining where you can eat local food served by friendly folks.
The Chemainus Theater Festival puts on a year-round flow of musicals, comedies and contemporary plays that will astound you or make you laugh with glee.
There are many hiking and biking trails here to get you out to see the wonders of the area, one of my favorites is the hike up mount Prevost to watch the hang-gliders take off, or perhaps the hike up Maple Mountain where you get such great views of Saltspring island.
There is so much more to do here, swim or fish in fuller lake or just relax at the fuller lake park, take the ferry over to Thetis island where there are some incredible artists and their studios, you could spend a few days here staying in one of the areas b&bs.
So when you are on the island, make Chemainus a must-see on your itinerary.